CONTRIBUTED BY ANDREW HART
I know several people who are colour blind. The way they see colours is different to what I see. It’s a strange to wrap your mind around, because they don’t think they see the world differently. They have always seen colours that way, just as I have always seen colours my way. From my perspective, I feel that they are missing something in the majesty and fullness of life. But as far as they are concerned, they aren’t missing anything. This is how they have always seen the world, and they can’t imagine it any other way.
I remember seeing these 3D images that at first glance don’t look like anything at all. Apparently if you looked long and hard enough you would see what is in the picture. But no matter how long I stared, or tried looking in different ways, I couldn’t see anything other than blurry or blobby things. No amount of staring, looking intently, glancing casually or looking through the picture was going to make it happen for me. I can see what’s on the paper, but I can’t really appreciate the beauty in the image.
Colour blindness is sort of an inconvenience, but being completely blind is an absolute disability. Surely this most debilitating affliction will constantly remind you that your disability is influencing your every action and affecting your every enjoyment of life.
If you were born blind, you won’t know what it’s like to see. But you know that you are missing out, because everyone and everything will remind of this every single day. And not because you know any different through experience, rather it’s because you are constantly reminded of what life “should” be like for you.
The bible mentions blindness quite a few times. Sometimes in a physical way, but most often in a spiritual way. Sometimes there is as a direct reference to blindness, and at other times it’s a way to describe how people can’t see something that is in plain view.
Some of these texts are:
Isaiah 35:5 – Then the eyes of the blind will be opened And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.
Luke 24:31 – Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight.
Luke 7:21-22 – At that very time He (Jesus) cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind.
John 12:40 – “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.”
Acts 26:18 – to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’
Matthew 13:15 – For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’
These verses speak about the difference between being blind, and not being able to see what’s clearly there to see. The difference can be compared to being colour blind or being completely blind. If you are spiritually blind, you will see nothing of the majesty and splendour of God.
So the question for you is, do you identify symptoms of blindness in your life?
If you know God and what he has done, but it doesn’t really move you, perhaps you are colour blind. You can see, but you don’t really appreciate the wonder and majesty of what you see.
Psalm 119:18 – Lord, open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. Amen.
I recently read the letter that Guido de Bres wrote to his wife. You might remember him as a most influential reformer and the chief author of the Belgic Confession. He wrote this letter to his wife, as he was waiting in prison for the day of his execution. You can read the letter and it’s context here. http://ia800208.us.archive.org/19/items/BredenhofArticles1/AReformationMartyrComfortsHisWife.pdf
This is a deeply poignant letter.
The connection for me was the sentence “I am practicing now what I have preached to others. And I must confess that when I preached I would speak about the things I am actually experiencing as a blind man speaks of colour. Since I was taken prisoner I have profited more and learned more than during all the rest of my life”.